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Guest Phil10

False ocd thoughts urge to throw clothes away

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Good news that you are seeing a psychiatrist soon. Medication has helped many on the forum in dampening anxiety which makes handling and dismissing compulsions easier. I have no experience of the medication which you cited. Also very good that you have little or no OCD at work.

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Guest Phil10
On 10/11/2018 at 12:43, Angst said:

Good news that you are seeing a psychiatrist soon. Medication has helped many on the forum in dampening anxiety which makes handling and dismissing compulsions easier. I have no experience of the medication which you cited. Also very good that you have little or no OCD at work.

What do I do when I feel anxious like I can’t cope with the dirty germs of dirty washing? How can I accept it more?

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Read your post above. Dirty germs of dirty washing? You state it as if it's real.

It isn't.  You are afraid of something that doesn't exist, that no one else pays the least bit of attention to. 

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Guest Phil10
1 minute ago, PolarBear said:

Read your post above. Dirty germs of dirty washing? You state it as if it's real.

It isn't.  You are afraid of something that doesn't exist, that no one else pays the least bit of attention to. 

Yes true but many people with ocd worry about dirty washing too. If I never had ocd perhaps I wouldn’t worry

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Of course you wouldn't. There isn't anything there to worry about. The number of people with contamination OCD whose obsessions involve laundry is, I would think, quite small. Like all others with the disorder, they are being lied to by their own minds.

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On 09/11/2018 at 10:21, Phil10 said:

I had a bipolar episode a few years ago so can’t take anti depressants so this may affect the meds I can go on.

I'm sorry to hear that, I'm sure that was also very difficult and scary to deal with.  I don't know much about BPD,  though I have a friend who has it.  Its unfortunate that it limits the medication you can take.  I wonder if that will change over time if the symptoms don't reoccur.  Might be worth discussing with your doctor what your options are.  I will say however, that many many people tackle OCD using CBT alone.

 

On 09/11/2018 at 10:21, Phil10 said:

I had 7 sessions of therapy and it was up and down the exposure therapy bit was the hard part and I was able to be better and next month I could be ten times worse it was very up and down. 

I am here for help and know what I’m doing is irrational so I feel I guess I’m not wanting to be stuck. But I’ve tried a lot and failed so clearly I need to keep trying 

Yes, unfortunately the results can be effected by mood, stress, and lots of other factors so its not usual to see things improve and then have setbacks.  Of course knowing that and going through it are very different things.

Its good to see that you are starting to acknowledge that your behavior is not normal/rational.  Thats a good first step in challenging the thoughts.  My recommendation is to continue working on that, not accepting the thoughts at face value, recognizing this idea that things are contaminated as a lie.  It will take time to undo the learning your brain has had over time where you acted on that belief, but in time you can overcome it and the anxiety should fade.  It might also be helpful to take a more gradual approach.  While the ideal is to completely resist the compulsions, breaking it down in to smaller goals might be useful.  For example, rather than throw things out/replace them, perhaps you can try simply cleaning them.  Once you have weaned yourself off of replacing/throwing away then you tackle the cleaning compulsion and slowly reduce that over time until you are neither replacing NOR cleaning.

And its ok to struggle with this, overcoming this kind of mental illness is tough!  A comparison i've found helpful in explaining OCD to people is smoking.  Even once you realize its a problem and decide to try and tackle it, it can take multiple attempts before it sticks.  Most smokers who quit have to try many times, its not unusual for OCD sufferers to have to take multiple tries to get a hang of CBT and really get a grasp on the techniques to overcome it.  Even for those of us who have managed to make it to a better place where our OCD is more or less managed and in remission so to speak, there can still be flare ups and I still find myself having to reapply and work on the CBT techniques.  Like other things, practice makes perfect!

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Guest Phil10

Yep I’ve heard with therapy you can change how you react to the thoughs however last day or two all I have felt like is lying in bed sleeping.

Some stuff I bought at shops went close to dirty washing yesterday and since then I felt defeated.

I fear I can never get over these worries about dirty washing?

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Guest Phil10

Like today my partner got changed from work clothes and carried the bag around I worried she was contaminating the train seats and shops 

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Guest Phil10

Yes another issue I have keep taking new towels when I get the thought the towel is dirty also today I took a jumper and worried it was dirty so took another then worried the cupboard was dirty despite it being a clean jumper I took I have these repetitive thoughts over and over?

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Guest Phil10

My urge would be to throw the iron and everything in cupboard out but know that’s a bit drastic these thoughts have happened now and again and I change the item or clothing thinking it’s dirty. 

But yes I feel I need to get on top of these thoughts that stuff is dirty I have the issue where something has actually touched dirty washing vs the thought in my head something is dirty. 

Both are equally as difficult to beat well perhaps the false thought a little easier as I know it’s just a thought I have but I end up believing it 

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1 hour ago, Phil10 said:

But yes I feel I need to get on top of these thoughts that stuff is dirty I have the issue where something has actually touched dirty washing vs the thought in my head something is dirty. 

Ok, let me try this from a different angle.  Lets suppose for the sake of argument that your iPad touching your bag which touched dirty laundry.  So the bag got "contaminated" and now the iPad is "contaminated".  Why is that a concern?  What are the possible consequences?  What is it about contamination that you are feeling anxiety about?

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17 minutes ago, dksea said:

Ok, let me try this from a different angle.  Lets suppose for the sake of argument that your iPad touching your bag which touched dirty laundry.  So the bag got "contaminated" and now the iPad is "contaminated".  Why is that a concern?  What are the possible consequences?  What is it about contamination that you are feeling anxiety about?

Well I don’t fear harm from the germs. The consequences are when I touch that iPad I would have the thought that it touched the washing every time I use it and eventually I would give in and replace it. I think the thought causes me anxiety and I believe I would be spreading germs to other items and the cycle would grow and I would want to replace more stuff. 

I cant stand the thoughts that something has become dirty with dirty washing. The example when my partner changed her clothes and carried them about a year ago this happened and it wouldn’t bother me. 

The issue is when things happen vs the these false thoughts 

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So what if things happen? So what if used clothing touches something? Your mind is telling you that that is a big problem but it's a lie. It's not a problem. 

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Guest Phil10
5 minutes ago, PolarBear said:

So what if things happen? So what if used clothing touches something? Your mind is telling you that that is a big problem but it's a lie. It's not a problem. 

My urge is to replace all the irons and Iron board and everything in the cupboard as I had a thought that the jumper was dirty these false thoughts are the worst. My head seems to believe them? 

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That is problem number one, that you believe the thoughts. You err on the side of caution. Same with all sufferers, no matter the theme. What you need to understand is that is a choice. You choose to believe the thoughts, in the complete absence of any evidence that there is any kind of contamination present.

You can choose differently. 

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Guest Phil10
3 hours ago, PolarBear said:

That is problem number one, that you believe the thoughts. You err on the side of caution. Same with all sufferers, no matter the theme. What you need to understand is that is a choice. You choose to believe the thoughts, in the complete absence of any evidence that there is any kind of contamination present.

You can choose differently. 

Yes I find distraction helps most. I get tension headaches worrying over these thoughts. I’m also trying my thought record sheets that the theripst gave me to see if that helps. 

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16 hours ago, Phil10 said:

Well I don’t fear harm from the germs. The consequences are when I touch that iPad I would have the thought that it touched the washing every time I use it and eventually I would give in and replace it. I think the thought causes me anxiety and I believe I would be spreading germs to other items and the cycle would grow and I would want to replace more stuff. 

Here are the thoughts that you are currently "buying in to" to use some psychological terminology :)
1. That things can become "contaminated" 
2. That "contamination" can spread from item to item by touch
3. That the only way to remove "contamination" is to get rid of it
4. That if you don't get rid of "contaminated" items the "contamination" will spread and you'll be forced to replace more stuff.

The root of your problem is that you've bought in to this idea of contamination.  Even if you recognize that you aren't in specific danger (like spreading germs) from the items, you still seem to be buying the thought that they are somehow different from other items.  In order to recover you need to do two things.  First, is the obvious, you have to stop getting rid of things, thats a compulsion.  Second, and equally important, you have to start challenging the ideas I layed out above.  You need to start rejecting, actively rejecting this idea of "contamination".

How do you know an item has been "contaminated" in the first place?  Its something YOU have to witness, its something YOU have to believe.  If I go around your house in the middle of the day with a dirty sock and touch half the things in your house, when you come home you have no idea that ever happened.  Technically half your items are "contaminated" but you will never know.  You won't behave any differently towards those items because they aren't different in any significant way.  Which means the so-called "contamination" can't actually force you to do anything.  You are allowing the OCD doubt in your mind to convince you that certain things MUST be true even when logically we can show they aren't.  If you can start accepting that just because you have a thought about something doesn't make it real, then you can get somewhere.

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Guest Phil10

I’m struggling with the false thoughts 

My urge it to replace all my crates, Iron board and iron due to me having a thought a jumper was dirty so it made me believe it was dirty as I added it to the dirty pile. I tried to challenge these people thoughts and I said only dirty washing is on floor so I just can’t acceot or see how it got dirty but the thought I had makes me believe everything is contaminated.

I want to avoid replacing but these dirty washing germs are a struggle I have thought if I don’t replace the iron board everywhere will become dirty. These faults thoughts happen frequently because I have these ones

*Maybe I pooed myself or peed myself.
*Maybe my trousers are dirty so I change them.
*Mayve my towel is dirty so I take another sometimes another and upto 4.
*I had the thought a letter I got was from the bin so I wanted to replace the letter box and door but so far resisted however I won’t accept any phone cases though the door 
*Maybe I never washed my hands, Maybe I touched a toilet Maybe I went to the toilet and never never washed my hands 

These are my daily actions and my compulsion is to replace or over wash by hands ect I hate when I get something In my head that needs replaced a few weeks ago one of my non false thoughts happened because my partner touched my rucksack after touching dirty washing in a case so i sold my iPad.

It doesn’t matter if the germ issue is real or a false thought the urge to to replace crops up quite often and I find it hard to resist

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The issue here is about me I can’t live with the “anxiety” get from the thoughts and I have an urge to replace this creates anxiety symptoms and thoughts so I end up replacing to get relief. That’s it nothing else I do these compilations to remove my anxiety 

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Guest Phil10
17 hours ago, dksea said:

Here are the thoughts that you are currently "buying in to" to use some psychological terminology :)
1. That things can become "contaminated" 
2. That "contamination" can spread from item to item by touch
3. That the only way to remove "contamination" is to get rid of it
4. That if you don't get rid of "contaminated" items the "contamination" will spread and you'll be forced to replace more stuff.

The root of your problem is that you've bought in to this idea of contamination.  Even if you recognize that you aren't in specific danger (like spreading germs) from the items, you still seem to be buying the thought that they are somehow different from other items.  In order to recover you need to do two things.  First, is the obvious, you have to stop getting rid of things, thats a compulsion.  Second, and equally important, you have to start challenging the ideas I layed out above.  You need to start rejecting, actively rejecting this idea of "contamination".

How do you know an item has been "contaminated" in the first place?  Its something YOU have to witness, its something YOU have to believe.  If I go around your house in the middle of the day with a dirty sock and touch half the things in your house, when you come home you have no idea that ever happened.  Technically half your items are "contaminated" but you will never know.  You won't behave any differently towards those items because they aren't different in any significant way.  Which means the so-called "contamination" can't actually force you to do anything.  You are allowing the OCD doubt in your mind to convince you that certain things MUST be true even when logically we can show they aren't.  If you can start accepting that just because you have a thought about something doesn't make it real, then you can get somewhere.

Yes I see your point and that’s true when my partner is at home she could be contaminating but I find it tend to only worry about stuff I actulally see. For example I worry stuff isn’t cooked right so I watch it however in a restaurant I don’t and it doesn’t worry me. 

Challenging these thoughts is hard like when my anxiety is lower it’s easier to bat them off however when my ocd is intense I give into them and the least thought I have I can actually believe it like when I worry I pooped myself I can picture it see it and I end up not sitting comfortable in a seat. 

I feel weak about these thoughts I challenge them and instantly I have the thought I need to replace I think no there’s no evidence and instantly i think replace replace and I add the items into a shopping cart and worry I need to buy them 9 times out of ten I buy the item and complete the purchase to relieve the anxiety 

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Of course you do it to relieve your anxiety. That, and trying to stop something bad from happening, are the reasons why people do compulsions.

Now I have to tell you that most of your posts explain what compulsions you do and the rationale behind doing them. Repeating yourself like that is not helping you. We get you do compulsions frequently. You don't have to explain it over and over.

No sufferer likes anxiety. We abhor it. But it won't kill you. And it will never settle down until you reign in your compulsions. Simple fact.

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Guest Phil10
10 minutes ago, PolarBear said:

Of course you do it to relieve your anxiety. That, and trying to stop something bad from happening, are the reasons why people do compulsions.

Now I have to tell you that most of your posts explain what compulsions you do and the rationale behind doing them. Repeating yourself like that is not helping you. We get you do compulsions frequently. You don't have to explain it over and over.

No sufferer likes anxiety. We abhor it. But it won't kill you. And it will never settle down until you reign in your compulsions. Simple fact.

Ok but I never replaced the front door but I still have the thoughts now and again? I don’t feel I have won as if money was unlimited I would replace the door tomorrow.

So if I quit all compulsions I’m not sure I can feel any better. Obviously I have anxiety by not replacing sometimes it gets so bad I have to replace. I don’t get why the false thoughts are as difficult as situations where I believe contamination has occurred. I could have a perfectly clean house and have a thought that someone brought dog poo in and my head would believe this.

So I mean In the ideal world you would say don’t replace that’s great if I don’t but my fear is the anxiety won’t dissapear either I tried to live with not replacing the camera and it went down a bit and it flared up and I replaced 

Edited by Phil10

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1 hour ago, Phil10 said:

Ok but I never replaced the front door but I still have the thoughts now and again? I don’t feel I have won as if money was unlimited I would replace the door tomorrow.

Its not surprising at all that you still have thoughts now and again about your front door because you haven't stopped obsessing over the thought of contamination, you haven't stopped your compulsive responses to these fake thoughts about contamination of everything else.
 

1 hour ago, Phil10 said:

So if I quit all compulsions I’m not sure I can feel any better. Obviously I have anxiety by not replacing sometimes it gets so bad I have to replace. I don’t get why the false thoughts are as difficult as situations where I believe contamination has occurred. I could have a perfectly clean house and have a thought that someone brought dog poo in and my head would believe this.

There are two options:
You can continue the compulsions in which case you will continue to feel anxiety.  You definitely will not get any better if you keep doing the compulsions.  Thats clear because you continue to suffer no matter how many things you have replaced, I believe you even mentioned that you moved homes because of this.
You can stop the compulsions in which case you will probably get better.  I can't guarantee it, but history of other people with OCD suggests that you will, in fact get better. 

Basically you are standing in a room thats on fire, occasionally you are able to throw a bucket of water on the fire to completely engulf you (doing a compulsion) but you aren't doing anything to put out the fire itself.  Meanwhile there is a door that you can go through.  You are afraid that if you go through the door the next room will be on fire too.  Maybe it will.  But you KNOW the room you are in right now is already on fire.  Does it make sense to not try another door on the chance things might stay the same?  Of course not.  Its better to try the door that might help rather than do nothing and not improve your situation.

 

1 hour ago, Phil10 said:

So I mean In the ideal world you would say don’t replace that’s great if I don’t but my fear is the anxiety won’t dissapear either I tried to live with not replacing the camera and it went down a bit and it flared up and I replaced 

Again, you fear that the anxiety won't disappear if you stop your compulsions, but its not disappearing when you do the compulsions.  You are still suffering right now from this anxiety.  What have you got to lose by trying a new approach?  

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